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NHADAMar 14, 2023 3:28:32 PM4 min read

NHADA Mourns The Passing of Paul J. Holloway

Longtime Leader in Auto Industry Remembered as Community Leader, Volunteer, Role Model

It is with profound sadness that we say a heartfelt goodbye to one of the titans of our industry, Paul J. Holloway, Jr., who passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 14, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Few people have had a great impact on the people of New Hampshire quite like Paul Holloway. He leaves a legacy of generosity, community leadership, business success and family ties that will live well beyond his years.

Those who knew and worked alongside Paul will know he was, first and foremost, a dedicated servant to all those around him. He had a fire that burned within him to do good and to work to lift others and give back. His immeasurable work ethic and unwavering leadership yielded incredible results and placed him in constant demand for his guidance and advice.

According to his obituary, Paul began his career working his way through the ranks of Buick Motor Division of General Motors, before purchasing an auto dealership in Exeter, NH in 1967. His seven-day-a-week effort built a single point Buick-Pontiac business into Holloway Automotive Group of 13 locations representing BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Fiat, Mazda, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Chevrolet and GMC Truck. Like many other entrepreneurs, Paul didn’t limit himself to just one business venture, he was a partner in a chain of Nursing and Retirement Homes, an Air Cargo business and the Wentworth by the Sea Marina. As Holloway Automotive Group bought and sold dealerships throughout NH, Paul was recognized by multiple manufacturers and won numerous industry awards for the quality and performance of his businesses, including the prestigious Time Magazine’s “Quality Dealer of the Year.”

“For those of us lucky enough to have worked closely with him for years, Paul was more than a role model, he was a beacon lighting the way for all of us to follow. He was never afraid to be the tip of the spear fighting for issues that were important to industry and him and his family.” says Dan Bennett, President of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association. “It probably would have been enough for all of us to simply follow his example of success in our industry; Paul had a Midas Touch of sorts in his business dealings. But he didn’t stop there. He dedicated time and energy to causes beyond his own interests and set a high standard of community service, especially in educating young people. He will be deeply missed.”

In a message written by his family about Paul’s contributions, early in his career, Paul applied his business skills to his philanthropic endeavors, demonstrating an enduring commitment to always “leaving it better than he found it.” He believed NH’s higher education institutions are among the state’s most precious resource and supported this belief with consistency and determination. Paul served on the Board of the University System of NH for 18 years, the Community College System of NH since 2003 and has been recognized numerous times for his work on behalf of higher education in the state. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of New Hampshire. Holloway Commons at UNH was named in recognition of his significant contributions, along with Holloway Hall at Keene State College, Holloway Auditorium at Plymouth State University, and the Paul J Holloway Student Success Center at Great Bay Community College.

He constantly gave back to worthy causes, frequently donating his own funds to projects benefiting others. Not long ago, The Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges announced that Anna Grace and Paul Holloway have made a $1 million gift to establish an endowed scholarship for students enrolled at any of the state’s seven community colleges. He gave thousands to community causes, such as food pantries and shelters. He led countless efforts to help others in need.

“Our entire association is built on the grit and generosity and the spirit of Paul Holloway,” explains John Sawyer, Jr., Chair of the Board of Directors for the NHADA. “Over countless years, he guided us through challenges, spurred creative solutions and would roll up his sleeves to do the heavy lifts necessary to bring projects to completion. I can’t ever remember a time when he sat off to the side or waited for others to finish a task. He was a dreamer and a doer and there will never be another like him.”

Paul Holloway was a devoted family man, whose life revolved around his wife, children and grandchildren. Despite a heavy load of both work and community causes, Paul was never far from his loved ones. His family says that among his greatest joys in life was simply being involved and connected.

“This marks the end of what all of us can consider a life well lived,” reflected Mark Tulley, President of the NHADA Education Foundation, which provides support and financial aid to students interested in pursuing careers in the auto tech field, which was co-founded by Holloway. “We are all saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, but we will do what he would expect us to do; soldier on with meeting the needs of those around us and leaving our world better than we found it.”

The Holloway family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the love and concern shown by Paul’s friends and colleagues. No flowers please. Contributions can be made to Little Harbor Charitable Foundation, PO Box 2093, New Castle, NH 03854.